Economic Fairness: Terms of Development and Trade

Thomas M. Franck

in Fairness in International Law and Institutions

Published in print January 1998 | ISBN: 9780198267850
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683398 | DOI:
Economic Fairness: Terms of Development and Trade

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This chapter deals with the most obvious problematic of distributive justice: the income gap between rich and poor nations, and all its social, political, and cultural consequences. Although there is no globally agreed statistical poverty level for the world's peoples, the line separating developed nations from the rest provides an approximate analogue. Principles of fairness press us to develop a global system in which distributive justice plays a larger part than at present in meeting the basic needs of the disadvantaged but, especially, in augmenting their capacity to enlarge significantly their contribution to the growth of a global economy. More precisely, the ‘maximin’ principle of fairness requires a close scrutiny of the international system's rules, with a view to challenging those which operate to benefit the rich more than the poor and reforming those which do not serve to narrow the rich–poor benefit ratio. This chapter discusses the global system of entitlements for the disadvantaged, bilateral aid, market stabilisation, tariff preferences, process legitimacy, and technology transfer.

Keywords: distributive justice; income gap; rich; poor; bilateral aid; technology transfer; fairness; poverty; entitlements; market stabilisation

Chapter.  11747 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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